Privat Tour Options for Chichen itza + Tulum

Jan 15th, 2016, 04:18 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 20
Privat Tour Options for Chichen itza + Tulum

Hello-
I am traveling to Tulum area in Feb. 2016 with two children and I am looking for private tour guides/ good tour operators to take us to Chichen Itza and Tulum Ruins. If anyone has recommendations or suggestions please post. I received quotes from the hotel but the quotes were over $1000USD for 4 people per day which seemed high to me.
Any insight/recommendations are welcome!
Thank you-
Courtney
somerville45 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2016, 07:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,218
If you're staying in Tulum you could just take a cab to the Tulum site; go 1st thing in the morning to beat the crowds. Chichen Itza would be a long day trip from Tulum with kids and you wouldn't be able to beat the crowds. I'd consider a night or 2 in Valladolid if Chichen Itza is a priority and visit Ek Balám, too (we liked it much more than CI).

I don't know the ages of your kids but I'd consider replacing the Chichen Itza plan with a 1st thing in the morning visit to Cobá - such more more fun! The jungly setting is wonderful and spread out so you can rent bikes or bike taxis to take you around, plus you can climb on things there (and at Ek Balám) which is not allowed at Tulum or CI.

My photos with blog, travelogue, and review links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations from 2 visits to that region are embedded there.
Have a great trip, whatever you decide!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
Jan 15th, 2016, 01:24 PM
  #3  
 
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I agree with visiting Coba instead of Chichen Itza, since it is a long drive and overrun these days with pushy vendors unless you get there when it opens at 8am. Entrance fee for CI just went up a few days ago to 232 pesos pp. Coba is maybe about 70 pesos pp. Plus you can climb at Coba, at least for the time being.
We had a rental car and drove (there are guides at the entrance to the ruins you can hire) but if this is not an option, you can hire a taxi driver but negotiate the price beforehand and pay in pesos not USD, the peso to USD is just under 18-1 now but a taxi will give you 10-1 so you lose money bigtime paying USD.
jamie99 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2016, 04:38 PM
  #4  
 
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Where exactly are you staying?
As mentioned, it would be easier to stay overnight in charming Valladolid, using that as a base to see CI and Ek Balam (where you can climb a pyramid).
CI is at least 3 hours drive from Tulum.
Coba is fairly close to Tulum and also has a pyramid to climb, bikes and pedicabs, alligators across the street and a monkey park nearby.
We rented a car from the highly recommended Easyway, but the small van tour company Yucatreks has many positive posts. Or look on LocoGringo.
Btw, the big bus tours are about U$100/pp for most any excursion out of the AIs, just to have a comparison.
SambaChula is offline  
Jan 15th, 2016, 04:39 PM
  #5  
 
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Just curious: Are you from Somerville, MA?
SambaChula is offline  
Jan 15th, 2016, 05:58 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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No need to take a private tour unless that is your preference!
kja is offline  
Jan 17th, 2016, 04:11 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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We visited Chichen Itza, Vallolidad, and Tulum in November. We debated using the bus system or renting a car. We ended up renting a car. The driving was very easy and safe even at dark. We went first to Chichen Itza and stayed at Chichen Itza Mayaland. It looks like there are many levels of rooms, but that was not our experience. We were immediately upgraded at no cost to a cabana rather than a regular room. If you stay there, you can enter Chichen Itza through the hotel at 8:00 a. m. before the tour buses arrive. We hired our guide through the hotel for a 2 hour tour for $50.00 The guides are excellent and we virtually had the place to ourselves before the vendors set up. The hotel is beautiful with 3 different pools that are available regardless of your room level. If we had known how nice it was, we would have stayed longer.

We then drove to Tulum. It was very helpful to have a car in Tulum. I do not know how you would get around without a car there. We stayed at a beach hotel and again, by being there, were able to take our tour very early before the crowds arrived. We had 6 only in our group which made it very personal. You have to pay in pesos; we think the cost was around $25.00. As you can see, you can do this on your own without going through expensive tour guides in Cancun.
ksmthornton is offline  
Jan 17th, 2016, 05:01 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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ksmthornton wrote, "It was very helpful to have a car in Tulum. I do not know how you would get around without a car there."

By very affordable taxi.
kja is offline  
Jan 18th, 2016, 12:40 PM
  #9  
 
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Depends how much back and forth they plan on doing, taxi from pueblo to the southern beach road can run 150 pesos one way, so if going to the beach a lot, it can add up. We always rented a car and took all the insurance. Since the OP has not come back to this thread since asking the question, no idea what their plans are.
jamie99 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2016, 10:11 AM
  #10  
 
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I've done both of those and did use a day tour company. It was very convenient and enjoyable. There are plenty of them in that area and they are fairly cheap. it sure wasn't anywhere around $250 per person. Of course, this was a group tour (even though the group wasn't that big), not some private custom tour. Even then, that seems very high but I don't really know what private tours cost. I think I paid around $75-100 for the day.

There are usually plenty of places you can find when there by brochures in a hotel or travel agents on the street (now I stayed in Playa del Carmen where you can find that, not Tulum, however). But if the hotel is recommending that, I wonder why it is so expensive. Also, most of the tours I know leave from Cancun or Playa del Carmen, so that could be part of the problem, leaving from Tulum is more unusual and you may indeed be very limited in what is available.

Last time I was there a couple years ago, I used this online company to book tours and the vendors they used were very good, and they are helpful:

http://www.cancun-discounts.com/tours/playa-del-carmen/

They have departures from Cancun and PDC, but you can check their other points (Riviera Maya) to see. As an example on there, a one-day tour including Coba and Tulum is only $69 for an adult and $49 for a child when done in a group. Their Chicken Itza Classic day tour is $51 for an adult.

So you might give them an email or call to see what they can do for you from Tulum.
Christina is online now  
Jan 31st, 2016, 02:13 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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I have been to Chichen Itza and Tulum twice....and don't forget about Coba. All are great but completely different. Tulum sits on the cliffs above the Caribbean, Chichen Itza is inland in the jungle and February is the best time to visit. Coba is just inland from Tulum and the only ruin that you can still climb. Chichen Itza is an all day event...leave early to enjoy. Tulum and Coba can be combined in one day. I highly recommend renting a van and driving yourself. The toll road to Chichen Itza is great.

If you are set on a tour, I have heard good things about www.bestday.com but have never tried them myself. Additional good information can also be found at this website I ran across http://www.beach-vacations-firsthand...ctivities.html

Enjoy!
lovethecaribbean is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2016, 08:40 PM
  #12  
 
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"Coba is just inland from Tulum and the only ruin that you can still climb."

You can climb the pyramid at Ek Balam. And it has some interesting sculpture, the jaguar's mouth, about half way up. It's been restored and the footing is better than the crumbling steps and rope at Coba.
SambaChula is offline  
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